Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The student/elections clampdown - good news?

The new Republican-led State Board of Elections has decided to weigh in on two recent controversial decisions by N.C. county officials, including Watauga County's plans to eliminate a one-stop voting location on the Appalachian State campus.

The hearing, to be held next Tuesday in Raleigh, also will address the political bid of Montravias King, an Elizabeth City college student who was denied a chance to run for city council using his dormitory address as his residency. The Pasquotank County board of elections made that ruling.

We've written on the two cases, both of which are unmistakably political maneuvers by Republican officials to making voting and running difficult for people who don't share their party affiliation. But there's a larger issue here: Should students be encouraged to participate in governments in the towns and cities in which they spend most of a given year? Some think no, that because of their transient state as students, they shouldn't have the same impact as permanent residents. That's part of why Republicans applauded the N.C. voter ID law that doesn't accept student IDs as a form of identification.

Still, the state Board of Elections seems to have clear guidance on the King case from the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in Symm v. United States that government can't deny or discourage residency to students.

As for Watauga County - on the same day Republicans were voting to close the ASU voting site, Gov. Pat McCrory gave interviews assuring the public that politics wouldn't play a role in determining where polling locations would be. "They won't be selected based on politics or political partisan positions, which is wrong," McCrory told WUNC's Frank Stasio.

McCrory has been quiet on the issue since. 

Peter St. Onge

(h/t: Under the Dome blog.) 


Wiley Coyote said...

If any student in NC has their legal residence here and pays state and local taxes as a resident of NC, then by all means they have a right to vote here.

However, students should not be allowed to vote in state and local elections or hold office in NC if they are not a legal resident.

The same rule should apply to students whose legal residence is in NC but go to school in California. They should not be allowed to vote in California.

This has nothing to do with Republicans trying to suppress the vote. Students are within their right to cast absentee ballots back to their legal place of residence.

misswhit said...

Pete, You say that "both (of these cases) are unmistakably political maneuvers by Republican officials to make voting and running difficult for people who don't share their party affiliation." Are all college students Democrats? Is there a special rule that makes it easier for Republican students to vote or run? You apparently are making some awfully large presumptions here.

Wiley Coyote said...


It's amazing that Pete - and other "editors" here don't take the time to research their subject matter.

Every state has it's own requirements for voting and for student voters.

The Supreme Court ruled that the "right" to vote is not guaranteed by the Constitution but rather our Constitution 'does not protect the right of all citizens to vote, but (per SCOTUS) the right of all qualified citizens to vote.' And it's state legislatures that wield the power to decide who is 'qualified.'

Marriage, where you register your car, what kinds of scholorships you have and whether those scholorships have residency requirements, etc. all come into play.

Many states have varying rules/laws regarding those and other issues.

The SCOTUS ruling in the editorial doesn't come into play in my opinion because the state is NOT discouraging residency here. All they are doing is ensuring that if you do LEGALLY live here and this is your primary domicile, then you must abide by state law.

This editorial is nothing more than a liberal slant to find a nugget where there isn't one.

kantstanzya said...

In many college towns the population of the college students is greater than (or at least enough to sway the vote) the regular residents who own property and pay taxes. Do we really want the drunken boys of Delta Tau Chi deciding soil and water policies or passing bonds for expensive projects they'll never be around to pay for? But then Dems do love to spend other people's money.

Most states specifically don't allow students to claim local residency for the purpose of avoiding out of state tuition. A little consistency please?

That being said it is the law that they can vote where they claim residence. If they want to claim residence in the college town fine. But their parents must give up claiming them as members of their household for tax purposes.They can't have it both ways.Maybe dad and mom might have something to say about that.

Isn't anyone else getting a little tired of the Democrats crying "victim" over every little thing? When I was an out of state college student decades ago I had no problem voting by absentee ballot. My three children did the same thing from their college towns. It isn't that hard. It doesn't deny anyone the right to vote. But then we were all Republicans and took some personal responsibility.

If I was a Democrat I would be embarrassed that my advocates consider everyone in their party a helpless victim of so many things in life. They can't get an ID. They can't get to the polls on a given day. They can't vote by absentee ballot.I'm surprised they can tie their shoes without someone looking out for them. Good grief...are you liberals really all such helpless losers?

Ghoul said...

Why does any North Carolina college or university have an out of state tuition if, as soon as a student steps foot on campus, he is now a NC resident?

karl beil said...

No one is aying students shouldn't vote. What is beinf said is they need to vote where they are a legal resident. That means where they live, pay bills, have as the address on their driver license and car registration. If a student gos to school in Greensboro, but has their ;legal residence as Charlotte, they should do an absentee vote for Charlotte.

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